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Mums and bubs supported to breastfeed by dedicated team

29 July 2022

The dedicated team of Redland Hospital midwives and lactation consultants are making a difference in the lives of mums who need support to learn the art of breastfeeding their babies. 

This week is World Breastfeeding Week (1-7 August), and with the theme ‘Step Up for Breastfeeding” the Redland lactation consultation (LC) team is doing just that, providing caring education to women like Capalaba mum-of-two Anita Downes.

The small team of LCs are often called upon for extra, specialised help if difficulties arise.

Anita was pleased to hear the LC service was available after birthing her second baby, Sahara, at Redland Hospital with a goal to breastfeed for two and a half years.

“The home-visiting midwives provided me with support initially but when their visits ended, they reminded me about the lactation consultation service here at the hospital,” she said.

“Where I grew up, in Papua New Guinea, there is almost no formula and breastfeeding is very normal.

“With my first baby I was able to breastfeed for 18 months, but I had a lot of influence saying she shouldn’t be breastfeeding anymore.

“I feel breastfeeding creates a close bond, it’s very personal and I enjoy the closeness. It’s also easier for night feeds to not have to get up and prepare bottles.”

The team were able to help Anita with suggestions for positioning to improve her baby’s latch and check her oral function for any restrictions, to ensure they start off well to meet Anita’s goals.

Lactation consultant and Baby Friendly Health Initiative Coordinator Ruth Cantrill said mothers should be encouraged to breastfeed for as long as they are happy to continue, and provided with information and support to enable them to do so.

“It’s important that choosing to breastfeed is met with support as many women finish breastfeeding sooner than they had hoped either due to issues like pain, that may be preventable with techniques based on the best available evidence, or due to outdated attitudes around the ‘right time’ to stop,” Ms Cantrill said.

“Women who experience difficulty or complex problems, are more likely to be satisfied with their experience when extra lactation consultant support is available in the first two weeks.

“There are many continued health benefits for both mother and baby from breastfeeding exclusively until 6 months of age and up to two years of age and beyond.

“In recent years, there has been more and more research and development of evidence-based breastfeeding techniques that have allowed us to better support women with a huge range of common breastfeeding issues from low milk supply to nipple pain to latch difficulties and more.

“While breastfeeding is a personal decision, it takes a really supportive community to help a mother to achieve her breastfeeding goals, so we all have a role in promoting and understanding the choice for their baby to be breastfed.”

Redland Hospital is an accredited Baby Friendly Health Initiative hospital, implementing the World Health Organisation and UNICEF’s 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.

Lactation consultation services are available at all Metro South Health birthing hospitals.

Last updated 29 July 2022
Last reviewed 29 July 2022

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